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Inventing the new L’Oréal of the 21st century: universal, digital and sustainable

By Andrew McDougall+

15-Apr-2015
Last updated on 15-Apr-2015 at 16:56 GMT2015-04-15T16:56:42Z

Inventing the new L’Oréal of the 21st century: universal, digital and sustainable

Last year was all about progress and transformation for L’Oréal and the world’s largest cosmetics company still has to adapt to the rapidly changing environment, according to its CEO Jean-Paul Agon.

Speaking in the company’s annual report, Agon says that 2014 was a good year for major launches, market share gains, and transformation; but that this was just the beginning of the process for the French firm.

“L’Oréal has undergone substantial strategic transformations this year to reinforce our competitive advantage in the beauty market,” says Agon.

“We have made major strategic acquisitions that ideally complement our unique portfolio of brands,” speaking of the integration of Decléor and Carita in the Professional Products Division, and acquisitions of Magic, Niely and NYX in the Consumer Products Divisionin regional markets, as well as the acquisition of Carol’s Daughter better serve multicultural customers.

Digital focus

But on top of appealing to a wider audience around the globe, Agon also highlights the importance of the company’s digital upgrades, after the appointment of Lubomira Rochet as Chief Digital Officer, saw a new focus put on this area.

“I am fully convinced that digitalisation will profoundly transform the relationship between our brands and consumers in a positive way,” continues Agon.

“We strongly believe that digitalisation is a very important factor in the group’s success. [Digital] represents a major opportunity and we intend to be trailblazers and leaders in the field of digital beauty.”

Looking ahead, the L’Oréal boss says that the digital strategy is just one arm of its approach to further growth along with its ‘Beauty for All’ mission, its Universalisation strategy, and the goal of attracting one billion new consumers.

“We will keep on inventing the New L’Oréal of the 21st century: universal, digital and sustainable,” he says.

Transformation

In 2014, L’Oréal also rolled out its corporate social responsibility project: ‘Sharing Beauty With All’, for the first time.

Its objective is to make L’Oréal into a model company that is exemplary in terms of sustainable innovation, production and consumption, and shared growth by 2020.

By the end of 2014 L’Oréal achieved a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from its factories and distribution centres compared with 2005.

Agon also adds that the company has started a huge simplification initiative so as to be fast, agile, responsive, and capable of seizing up-and-coming trends and taking advantage of all opportunities.

“The aim of these transformations is to adapt the group to a fast-changing world, and to prepare it for future success. We want to be a leader with the spirit of a challenger, and a large company with the spirit of a start-up,” he says.

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